When Games Get Confused with Real Life #13

From the tumblr of Bidoof Crossing; for those of you who have been playing Animal Crossing.

Alpine Sofa for 2400 bells

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Portal Christmas Tree

Merry Christmas Eve, Everyone! It’s time for the famous, or infamous, Portal Christmas Tree 🎄You can find the tutorial for this tree over at Kevin James Hunt. Enjoy!

Portal Christmas Tree

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How to Give the Gift of a Digital Game

So you want to give the gift of a digital game to your kid this Christmas. Well that’s awesome! There are many great games that are available only through digital download. My two favorites from this year are Slime Rancher and Hob. There are also several expansion packs for games on my list of favorite games from this year. Breath of the Wild, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Horizon Zero Dawn all have expansions. But how do you give a gift that you can’t place under the tree? Don’t worry. We’ve got a guide to help you with your gift.

How to Give the Gift of a Digital Game

**The sooner you can start this process the better. Servers usually crash on Christmas day from the amount of people downloading console and game updates. Start downloading digital gifts as soon as possible.**

  1. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy the digital game before your kiddo bean goes to bed, unless you restrict access to the gaming systems before then. If you buy any digital downloads while the receiver of your gift can still use the consoles, it WILL show up as an available game to play, thereby spoiling the surprise. If you’re buying a Steam game, be careful to make sure they cannot check their emails so they don’t receive a “you’ve been given a gift” notification.
  2. Make sure you check the amount of storage space required by the game before you download. You don’t want to get stuck needing an external hard drive or MicroSD Card after all the stores have closed.
  3. Check to see if your kid’s new game has any subscription requirements. If it has those, you might want to go ahead and pay for the first month or so now. I do not recommend buying games for your kids that require subscriptions, but many online games have a monthly fee.
  4. Don’t buy the game and think your work is done. You need to download that game. Depending on your internet speed and the amount of data you are downloading it can take 15 minutes or several hours. Make sure you plan for that. If you’re downloading more than one game, do them consecutively if your internet can’t handle the load.
  5. Boot up the game. Surprise! That game you just downloaded has updates. Yup, more downloading time.

Now that you have the game all set and ready to go for your gamer, how do you put your gift of a digital game under the tree? Try this. Grab the controller your kid uses. Most of us have a controller that we gravitate towards or that was intentionally bought for us. In our house Boy the Elder has red controllers, while Boy the Younger’s are blue. Grab that controller, or your kid’s 3DS, or their mouse if you bought them a PC game. Put it inside a conveniently sized box. Wrap, tag, and place it under the tree.

Controller in a Box

In the morning when your Gamer opens up their gift and sees their already owned controller, mouse, or 3DS inside, you get to enjoy that moment of confused disappointment on their face. And then watch as their face dawns understanding or giggle to yourself as you coach them to start the system up.

I hope this guide makes it easier for you to give your loved ones the gift of a digital game. Merry Christmas, Everyone!


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Craft Saturday – Santa Mario Cross Stitch

Welcome to our last Holiday Craft of this year featuring Mario and Yoshi in a Santa Mario Cross Stitch. I had to share this project because look at the little Yoshi Reindeer! You can find the Pattern in CrazzzyStitch’s Etsy Shop. Don’t forget to check out the rest of her patterns while you’re there.

Santa Mario Cross Stich by CrazzzyStitch

This cross stitch is not for a beginner. It’s a larger project, but not overly complex. You should wait to tackle this one until after you have completed a smaller cross stitch or two. Since this is not recommended as a starter project, you will likely only need to purchase the pattern, floss, and fabric. Your biggest investment in this cross stitch will be your time.

Santa Mario Cross Stitch has 13 floss colors and ends up roughly 17×7 inches when complete. Michael’s is always a good place to find floss; they run about $.33 per skein. You might also want to grab some fresh embroidery needles while you’re there. For anyone who went, “Wow that’s a lot of blue background,” the good news is that light blue background is the color of the fabric being stitched on. You can use this link to find the  fabric needed for this project, as you probably won’t find it in stores. If you’re worried about being able to place the snowflakes and clouds in the correct area, you can always grid your fabric with water soluble pencil like this one.

Because this is a rectangular project, some might find it easier to stitch using a snap kit rather than a hoop. If you already have hoops, don’t worry. You just move the hoops around to focus on the area you’re stitching. When you finish your project, simply wash and iron and the hoop marks will disappear.

I hope you love this Santa Mario Cross Stitch as much as I do. Who can resist Yoshi reindeer! If you’re looking for a holiday craft to do in a shorter amount of time, check out these Super Mario Christmas Mushroom perler. Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season!

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Friday Funny – What Would You Do If Santa Got Stuck In Your Chimney

My kid a few years back. 😂🎄

“If Santa got stuk in my Chimney I would get one of my god of war Swords and poke him dwon the Chimney.”

Let me stress that he has never played any of the God of War games. He does like Mythology and weaponry. I believe he learned of Kratos in PlayStation All-Stars.

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Our Favorite Video Games from 2017

Now that we are coming to the end of the year and the Holiday season, here is a small list of our favorite video games from 2017. This is not a comprehensive list of all of the great games out this year, but rather a list of the games that we personally think are worth it for your kids.

For ease of reading, this list is broken into three age groups: Everyone, 7 & older, and 13 & older. Please note that these groups do not match up with the ESRB, though they are close. We sorted them out based on mental ability, language, blood, people killing, moral ambiguity, and adult themes. You know your child best. If you think they can handle the puzzles in Breath of the Wild at age 6, by all means let them try the game. Conversely, if they do not do well with creepy images, wait on a game like Little Nightmares.

For ease of locating these games, we have provided links to them on Amazon, but you should be able to pick them up at a GameStop as well.






7 & Older



13 & Older – Parents, please proceed with caution! Each game in here has reasons they are rated T for Teen. There is even a rated M for Mature game included in this grouping.

  • Destiny 2 – Online First Person Shooter. If your kid is ready for guns, being online, and potentially shooting other humanoids.
  • Fire Emblem Echos: Shadows of Valentia – Strategy. This game ends up here because of the dark storyline. Multiple character deaths.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition – Action/Adventure. Fantastic game, amazing plot, absolutely worth playing. But while your main enemies are machines, you kill a lot of humans.
  • Little Nightmares – Puzzle-Platformer, Horror Adventure. Horror. Creepy Horror. Great game, but if your kid is not good with horror games steer clear.
  • NieR: Automata – Action/Adventure, Hack-n-Slash. Rated M. If you play this game, you will likely end up googling, as we did, “Why is NieR: Automata rated M?” After eight hours playing the game, we were baffled. All the enemies are clearly goofy looking machines. You can barely see the main android’s behind when she was climbing ladders. We hadn’t encountered any swearing (there is a little bit). So why was this rated M? Well, there are two humanoid machines that show up in the game and you get to see them in full Ken-Doll/mannequin nudity. And when those machines die they have purple-red blood. If that’s a deal breaker, then avoid this game.
  • RiME – Puzzle-Platformer. This game is like a great piece of literature that gets classified as a Tragedy because of it’s heart-wrenching end.
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Welcome to Christmas Break

Welcome to Christmas Break. Hope your 3DS library is up to date.

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Craft Saturday – Super Mario Christmas Mushroom Perler

Today’s crafts are Super Mario Christmas Mushroom Perler! These are so cute and easily made into ornaments for your tree, magnets for your fridge, or just wall hangings. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you could make a blue present mushroom. Or modify the mushroom colors themselves to make your favorite Super Mario Mushroom power-up (surprisingly, I like the green 1-Up mushrooms).

The original creator of these mushroom perler is Alientonx. Unfortunately, their Etsy shop no longer exists and their Tumblr, Alientonx’s Perlers, seems to have gone silent after 2015.

Perlers of this size are not difficult and a great craft for even the youngest of video game fans. Parents will want to do the melting for younger kids, but older children can be taught how to use the iron with supervision. If you already have perler beads in your house, you shouldn’t need to purchase separate colors to make these Super Mario perlers. But if you’re starting from scratch, here are the items you will need:

I hope you enjoy making these Super Mario Christmas mushroom perler. If you’re looking for more holiday crafts, try this Reindeer from Tearaway. And join us again next week for another Holiday craft.

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Pre-Holiday Sacrifice of Old Games

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Craft Saturday – Lego Super Mario Question Block Ornament

If your kid is a Lego fan, this week’s craft is for them. Take a look at Chris McVeigh’s Lego Super Mario Question Block Ornament.

There is nothing quite as meaningful as a handmade ornament for your tree. Your kid could make this before Christmas, or you could put the bricks together in a kit for their stocking. If you don’t have a tree, this project can easily be modified to make a little storage box. You can find the complete step-by-step instructions and parts list here. The cost of bricks for this easy project is under $10. (Please note that a few of the brick’s Element ID numbers have changed on the Lego site.) And make sure to check out the rest of Chris McVeigh’s site for a whole slew of other Lego ornaments.

I hope you enjoy this Lego Super Mario question block ornament. If you’re looking for another Christmas/Winter craft project, take a look at this reindeer papercraft project from Tearaway. Happy Holiday crafting, everyone!

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